These tips can help keep your pets safe in the summer heat - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

These tips can help keep your pets safe in the summer heat

(Source: KSLA) (Source: KSLA)

With July and August being the hottest months of the year in the ArkLaTex, pet owners should be aware that animals - just like people - can suffer from heat stroke.

By the end of the week, afternoon highs could be in the mid-90s with maximum heat indices near 105 degrees.

Immediately call your veterinarian if you think your pet is suffering from heat stroke, said Dr. Catherine Foret, of University Veterinary Hospital.

Symptoms of heat stroke in pets include excessive panting, difficulty breathing, increased heart rate, drooling, stupor, diarrhea, vomiting and a body temperature above 104 degrees, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

One of the worst things you can do if you think your dog is suffering a heat stroke is to give it a cold bath, Foret said.

"Red blood cells are experiencing a lot of stress as they are getting warmer and to shock them causes as much destruction as heating them," she said.

Unlike people, dogs don't have sweat glands all over their bodies. Dogs only have them on their paws.

"If you were to take alcohol, like vodka or rubbing alcohol, and put it on their feet and blow on them or put them in front of fan that will begin to bring their temperature down," said Foret.

When walking your pet in the middle of day try and keep them off of concrete or asphalt surfaces. Grassy surfaces tend to be much cooler.

 "If they are not used to walking on hot concrete or asphalt they are going to get burned. They are going to step really high and begin to lick their feet," said Foret.

Overall, Foret said the best way to keep your pet safe this summer is to slowly acclimate them to the heat.

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